Back of the Mike (1938)
Back of the Mike is a short film done in 1937 for the Chevrolet Motor Company depicting the behind the scenes look at the making of a Western radio show. This documentary shows the various ways sound effects are created during the broadcast.
The City (1939)
This documentary film shows efforts at reversing the decay that had settled upon many American cities during the depression, including alternatives such as suburban planned communities.
Crazy Newsreel (1936)
A light hearted look and some of the offbeat news stories of 1936.
Roosevelt's First Inauguration -- 1933 (1933)
Rare newsreel video of FDR's first inauguration.
Jerry Pulls The Strings (1938)
Advertisement for vacuum-packed canned coffee that was produced primarily for screening at the 1939-40 New York World's Fair. In the narrative a young puppeteer proves to his prospective father-in-law, a coffee packer, that puppeteering is a viable occupation by using International Maple marionettes to tell the story of coffee. The young man uses 80 string puppets and deep, dimensional sets to explain how coffee is grown, harvested, roasted, and packed in vacuum cans to retain flavor.
Jimmy Durante and the NRA (1933)
This short film features popular entertainer Jimmy Durante extolling the benefits of the National Recovery Administration, a New Deal program which attempted to eliminate competition by encouraging businesses to fix prices and agree upon so called fair practices codes. Most of the NRA provisions were later ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court.
To New Horizons (1940)
Definitive document of pre-World War II futuristic utopian thinking, as envisioned by General Motors. Documents the Futurama exhibit in GM's Highways and Horizons pavilion at the World's Fair, which looks ahead to the wonder world of 1960.
The Plow That Broke The Plains (1936)
The Plow That Broke the Plains is a 1936 short documentary film which shows what happened to the Great Plains region of the United States and Canada when uncontrolled agricultural farming led to the Dust Bowl. It was written and directed by Pare Lorentz. The film was narrated by the American actor and baritone Thomas Hardie Chalmers.
Rain for the Earth (1937)
This WPA film focuses on social and economic wastes resulting from continued drought in the midwestern dust bowl and efforts of the federal government in attempting to remedy such conditions. Several views indicate the condition of the land from which much of the moisture has gone.
A Ride for Cinderella (1937)
A Ride for Cinderella is a 1937 Technicolor cartoon sponsored film, and is a sequel to A Coach for Cinderella. The storyline is simple: Cinderella meets her young prince, but has to leave him when the clock turns to midnight. Meanwhile, the head dwarf has to stop the wicked witch, hired by the evil stepsisters, ruining Cinderella's chance of getting married to the prince. The cartoon is actually an advertisement for Chevrolet, and it's a Chevrolet that helps Cinderella get her prince. The cartoon was made the Jam Handy Organization, famous for their advertising films.
Leave It To Roll-oh (1939)
Tongue-in-cheek film showing a domestic robot freeing housewives of their chores. The film is actually a promo showing how relays and switches function in the modern automobile. Shown at the New York World's Fair in 1940.
Spot News (1937)
The Chevrolet Motor Company uses pictures of their latest cars in a dramatization of how photographs are transmitted by wire, an exciting new technology in the 1930s .
We Work Again (1937)
n the 1930s, the economic depression has been especially hard on African-American families and communities. But the federal government's Works Progress Administration now provides many new opportunities for employment and advancement. Both skilled and unskilled laborers are employed in many public works projects. Others find work in a wide range of fields, including education, medicine, and even music and the performing arts.